MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — One in 285 children in the U.S. are diagnosed with cancer.

This Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month, some are trying to bring awareness to an area of cancer research that’s underfunded.

Lucy Lyngen, a star athlete at DeLaSalle High School is fighting the fight right now. She’s getting treatment at Children’s Minneapolis and that’s where she found a partner in the fight who understands her better than anyone else.

For Lucy Lyngen, last spring meant prom time, soccer time and track time. It also marked a season in life she never expected.

“I had a bunch of weird health problems, like my fingernail fell off, and then I had an infection, then I had an infection in my armpit and my armpit was really swollen,” Lyngen said.

She finally got a diagnosis of lymphoma.

“I just decided to go bald ’cause why not? My hair will grow back soon. Just embrace it,” Lyngen said.

She’s taking it in stride. She’s had a unique escort through the process in Jacqueline Englund. Englund works for Children’s providing patient support, and she knows how to lift teens up in a way few do.

Eleven years ago, Jacquelyn was a patient. Now, she’s an employee, specializing in teen care.

“It just really gives you a unique bond with patients and I think it really see it make my job more fulfilling for me, and I think I’m able to provide the patients with a deeper experience that’s kind of like a surface-level support,” Englund said.

And that support has helped Lyngen power through.

“I go to soccer practice every day and the season’s been starting. We’ve had four games so its been really fun so far,” Lyngen said.

She’s wrapping up chemotherapy and taking on a new title: a soccer player at College of St. Benedict.

Her current teammate couldn’t be prouder.

“Cancer sisters bond, it’s a good one,” Englund said.

And it’s a strong one.

Children’s Minnesota is offering an array of ways to support Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month, like shopping and eating. They call it their Shine Bright for Kids campaign.

You can find a list of places providing special discounts and promotions, including Crave, Chuck E. Cheese’s and Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, on Children’s website.

Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield

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